GCCC culinary arts students bake for inmates


XENIA — Culinary arts students from Greene County Career Center undertook a tasty initiative to bring some sweetness to the lives of the women at the Marysville Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Corrections facility.

The idea came from former Ohio First Lady Hope Taft, who reached out to GCCC for support while planning a holiday party for approximately 300 incarcerated women. Motivated by a desire to make a positive impact, the students embarked on a baking marathon to create 50 dozen cookies for the women at the correctional facility.

GCCC staff and students were already preparing for more than 1,000 sophomores scheduled to visit the Career Center from all Greene County schools, which would include hands-on cooking experiences for students exploring the culinary arts program as a possible high school career technical program. Adding on an additional 600 cookies made for an extra busy week, but the students were up for the task.

“I’m thrilled that the Greene County Career Center could meet the need that the women in the Marysville prison had. These cookies will help to give them a real Christmas party,” said Taft, a Greene County resident. “They’ll be as excited and as thankful as I am that this school was able to do this for us.”

The initiative not only showcases the culinary talents of the students but also highlights the power of generosity, compassion and serving within ones’ community, according to GCCC officials.

“The constant service to others by our students and staff is one of many reasons that I have been so fortunate to serve as the Greene County Career Center president this year” said Steve McQueen, the Yellow Springs school board representative. “These students constantly look for compassionate solutions for real world problems and then put those ideas into practice by serving or offering kindness to those around them.”

For the GCCC culinary students involved, this project is not just about baking cookies; it’s an educational and empowering experience. It provides them with an opportunity to apply their culinary skills in a meaningful way, fostering a sense of responsibility and community engagement.

“I commend our culinary students for their remarkable initiative in baking 600-plus cookies for the women at Marysville’s Department of Rehabilitation and Corrections,” said GCCC Superintendent David Deskins. “This act of kindness and our recent food drive by our Information Technology Program that resulted in collection and distribution of roughly 6,600 meals for Greene County residents are examples of what can happen when young people are afforded opportunities to display empathy, and community collaboration and it highlights ‘kind acts of service’ that GCCC students are learning along with life changing career training opportunities. We are grateful that Mrs. Taft reached out to our culinary program at the Greene County Career Center allowing us more ways to serve our neighbors.”

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